The Newnan Times-Herald


Mask and glasses making you foggy? Here's help

  • By Sarah Fay Campbell
  • |
  • May. 15, 2020 - 7:28 PM

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Wearing a mask or face covering during COVID-19 can be an inconvenience – especially if you wear glasses.

Exhaled air that doesn’t go through the mask itself often comes out of the top of the mask blowing onto the eyes, causing eyeglasses to fog – and some glasses wearers, in desperation, pull the mask below their nose, negating some of the point of wearing a mask in the first place.

But there are some steps foggy glasses wearers can take to improve their situation.

An article printed in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England recommends washing the glasses with soapy water and shaking off – not rinsing off – the excess. Then let them air dry or gently dry with a soft tissue.

Washing the glasses with soap and not rinsing leaves a thin film that reduces the surface tension of water droplets and causes them to spread out evenly, according to the article.

NPR’s All Things Considered says Dawn dish soap is the most effective, and to avoid anything that is labeled to be moisturizing or for sensitive skin, because it can cause smearing.

Another recommendation is to put a folded tissue between your mouth and the mask.

Good Housekeeping recommends a few steps:

• Improve the fit of your mask. Adjust your metal nose strip to get a better fit over the bridge of your nose. If your homemade mask doesn’t have a nose strip, add a pipe cleaner or twist tie to the top of the mask. When the mask fits properly, more of your breath should go through it, not out the top or sides – improving the protective function as well as reducing fogging.

• Tape your mask. Use tape across the bridge of your nose and across the cheeks. Any type of tape can be used, though you may want to test first to avoid skin irritation.

• Pull your mask up. Pull your mask higher and use the weight of your glasses on top of the mask to block the flow of the air. Whether this will work depends on the shape of the glasses, according to Good Housekeeping, and works best with large, thick frames.

• Use a commercial anti-fog wipe or spray. Make sure that the wipe or spray is made for use on glasses and will not affect any coatings on your lenses.